Total newbie. Lens questions

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jan3Sobieski, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Jan3Sobieski

    Jan3Sobieski TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I'm new to the forum and photography in general. I've had quite a few compact cameras and were extremely unsatisfied with the pictures, build quality and of course the fact that the camera takes 3-5 seconds to actually "take the shot."

    Reading forums, reviews and opinions I've decided to go with the D80 with the 18-135mm kit lens (I had many Best Buy gift cards laying around so I bought it there) I intend to take my time and read every photography book I can get my hands on (I've gone through a few now) and try things out for myself "out in the real world."

    Knowing that the 18-135mm is only a decent lens "for the money" i want to get the 50mm prime as many of you have recommended.
    Three questions.

    1. In terms of build quality, performance, speed and quality of picture, is 1.4f MUCH better than the 1.8f? Is it worth the extra money?
    I intend to shoot photos inside with arificial light and would like to shoot them with no flash. How well will the lens perform?

    2. This might be a dumb question but hey, i gotta ask:
    Does the camera automatically detect what lens it's got attached and configures all it's automated setting accordingly? Meaning, when i attach the lens will the camera "know" that the lens is capable of 1.4f and is fixed at 50mm? Also, and I think I've read this somewhere on this forum, the camera has capability to use that lens and auto-focus as opposed to the D40 where you'd have to manually focus. Is that right?

    3. Final question. This really bugs me or maybe i'm just an idiot. Is it possible to SET the iso yourself? There is a button on the bottom left which i thought was supposed to be used for iso. In whichever mode i'm in: A,P,S or M holding the button and changing the value of iso seems to work. But then when i actually frame the photo and intend to shoot, the screen flashes iso auto and after the picture is taken, it's not at the iso i chose. What am i doing wrong?
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    1) No. With Canon it is a different matter, but with Nikon there is not a significant difference in either build or image quality between the f/1.8 and f/1.4 lenses. F/1.8 should actually be fine for indoor shots without flash. Of course f/1.4 would be even better, but possibly not enough to justify the extra cost (depending on your budget).
    Personally I would be inclined to go for the F/1.8 first... if you later decide need the f/1.4, you can always sell it (lenses keep their value very well).

    2) Yes. All correct. The camera knows what focal length is being used and what apertures are possible. And you can autofocus with the 50mm on the D80.

    3) Sorry, don't know... I would have thought that at least in Manual mode it would let you choose the ISO. It will let you set ISO, but I'm not sure why it isn't or how you make it... Hopefully a D80 user can help answer this.
     
  3. Richard

    Richard TPF Noob!

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    My guess is that there is a setting in your camera about auto ISO. You need to turn that off then your camera will not auto change your ISO. In any of the shootiing modes if there is not enough light for your current setting your camera will adjust the ISO, and you will end up with odd numbers for ISO. Like ISO 750 or 525 instead of the normal stops 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200.

    I believe I got this answer correct... we'll see.:wink:
     
  4. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1) Both lenses are good. If you can afford the 1.4 it is faster, but the 1.8 has good build quality.

    2)Yes, with a caveat... there are CPU lenses and non-CPU lenses out there (all newer ones are CPU). If in doubt, look for that little row of contacts on the lens... the CPU lenses not only talk back and forth with your camera's computer. Additionally, if you are using a type G or type D lens, your D80 will use the very advanced 3D Color Matrix Metering II system, so even more information is passed back and forth.

    3) Hrmmm. I don't know what you are doing to make it do that. To set the ISO, have it in P, A, S, M (actually, I think just about every mode but auto but I don't use the scene modes so I am not sure about that). Make sure that your screen isn't showing a picture, hold down the ISO button and spin the back control knob. You can see what it is doing in the little window.

    There are some trick things to do with Auto ISO (actually, they are quite cool), where you can set a range of ISO's to use (say, anything between 100 and 400)... I never use this, I always just set my ISO.

    If I recall correctly if you set it to auto it only uses auto ISO (I don't ever shoot on auto, not sure).
     
  5. WDodd

    WDodd TPF Noob!

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    I don't know about the D80 but I know my XT on auto mode will set the ISO for me. And I think you would be hard pressed to get the camera in auto mode lower the aperture to f/1.8.
     
  6. Jan3Sobieski

    Jan3Sobieski TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all your responses.

    Going through the menus I found some option to expand or show advanced menu or something like that. There I found an option that basically said whether the iso should be automatically chosen. And yes you were right, i was getting some weird iso's like 560, 740. Now it works perfectly.

    WDodd, I don't understand what you mean. Are you saying that even though I have a lens capable of f/1.8 or f/1.4, the camera won't lower the aperture that low in auto mode?
     
  7. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your D80 will definitely open the aperture up to 1.8 in auto mode, under the right circumstances.

    Having said that, the whole point of getting a D80 is kind of lost if you shoot it in auto mode. Switch it over to program mode, and use the wheels on the front and back to adjust your shutter speed an aperture, and life will be good.
     
  8. Jan3Sobieski

    Jan3Sobieski TPF Noob!

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    Thanks sabbath999!

    I don't intend to shoot in auto mode, but I know there will be times where I will have to hand over my camera to someone (like my wife or a friend) and ask them to take a shot of myself or myself and wife or something. I'd rather just tell them to point and shoot instead of pre-framing (is that even a word?) the shot myself, pre-setting the shutter, aperture, iso and so forth. I want to make sure the camera will use that f/1.4 or f/1.8 in auto "just in case."
     
  9. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Oh sure, in program mode if the metering system thinks f/1.8 is necessary then it will use it.
     

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